Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Unsung heroes of Clark, Subic

By: Dennis L. Wright
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Read more: http://business.inquirer.net/41087/unsung-heroes-of-clark-subic

There is a remarkable story that needs to be told. It is a story of 21 leaders from different political parties and from various business backgrounds who came together in the past two decades to set an example that is unrivaled in world governments.
The story is about the transformation of the two former US military installations in Subic and Clark into highly successful and vibrant commercial and business centers of excellence.

This is nothing short of phenomenal, and illustrates the art of the possible and what can be accomplished with a clear and focused strategic vision and agenda that is articulated by a government and executed by a cadre of dedicated civil servants working to achieve the stated objective.

What makes this story so remarkable is that it unfolded under the radar screen of the Manila political and business elite. That is to say it happened without the traditional Philippine national political machine and business dynasties being involved or leading the way—as Subic and Clark have been, by and large, out of sight and out of mind on the national scene.

Consider that at the height of the American military era in the Philippines, the US government employed around 44,000 full-time Filipino employees.

Today, the workforce population at Subic and Clark exceeds 160,000, which is a fourfold increase. Add to this some 2,000 locators, most of whom are foreign, who now call Subic and Clark home, and the $9 billion they have invested with over $3 billion in annual exports—you quickly see an enviable record of accomplishment that any community would be proud of.

What makes this story unique is that it is not the result of any one single person, but rather, the culmination of many leaders, from different political parties who worked collectively to transform two badly damaged former US military installations into vibrant and commercially successful freeports.

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